Traffic police have maintained their slot as the most corrupt department in the Zambia Police Service, the Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) 2017 Zambia Bribe Payers Index (ZBPI) survey report has revealed.

The report has also revealed that the local authorities recorded the highest levels of bribery in 2017, with a percentage rising from 16.8% recorded in 2014 as compared to the 37% recorded in 2017, followed by the Ministries of Education whose bribery percentage rose from 12.5% in 2014 to 28.5% in 2017.

And TIZ Chapter President Reuben Lifuka says the biggest challenge that Zambia faces is that leaders are in denial that the country has a monumental problem surrounding the issue of corruption amongst public servants.

Speaking during the launch of the ZBPI survey report, Wednesday, University of Zambia Lecturer Mbinji Mufalo, who was also the report’s lead consultant, explained that significant decreases were also recorded in Ministry of Lands, Public Service Pensions Fund, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock as well as an interesting decrease in the Index for Zambia Police; excluding the traffic section.

“Zambia police traffic was 50.1 % in 2014 but it has increased to 63.9% in 2017, denoting a 13.8% increase. The highest increase we have from 2014 to 2017 is basically in the local authorities, followed by Ministries of Education and lastly Zambia police traffic. The local authorities has increased by 20.2 % and in Ministries of Education recorded an increase of 16.8% then Zambia police traffic has increased by 13.8%. The Road Traffic and Safety Agency recorded 5.6%, moving from 14.1% to 19.7%. Significant decreases are observed with respect to Ministry of Lands, Public Service Pensions Fund, all the way to Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. There is also an interesting decrease in the Index Zambia Police excluding traffic where we have a 6.2 percentage point,” Mufalo revealed.

And Lifuka regretted that one of the biggest challenges Zambia had was that leaders were in denial that the country had a monumental corruption problem amongst public servants.

“Nearly every year, we have a number of surveys, studies and academic papers done which amplify the problem of corruption. We have the Auditor General’s report, the Trends Analysis from the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), the Transparency International corruption perception index, the Basel Anti-Money Laundering index and several other international and local governance indicators. Our challenge as a nation is that we are in denial that we have a monumental problem. As a result our response is tentative and we have probably all failed to adequately address this problem. Government finds solace in passing in laws which are never fully enforced, or making policy pronouncements which are partially implemented. We are happy to report on minor achievements and this has made us complacent. Government leaders continue to make light of the problem and we hear statements like ‘corruption is sensationalized in Zambia. Well, corruption strips people of dignity and it’s consequences impoverish the people,” said Lifuka.

Meanwhile, ACC Director General Kapetwa Phiri disclosed that his institution was spearheading the review of the Anti-Corruption policy.